CRIM 201 Study Guide - Final Guide: Actus Reus, Mens Rea, Misdemeanor
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• Actus reus- establishing both a criminal act took place
• Mens rea- legal culpability or responsibility for that act
• Technicalities- not a legal term but is a word that some use when describing a person
who committed a criminal act but are not held responsible for that act
• Victim eyewitness- someone who had a crime committed against him or her.
• Bystander eyewitness- someone who observes a crime but was not directly victimized
• Show up procedure- they return the suspect to the scene of the crime and ask the
eyewitness to make an on the spot determination as to whether or not the individual in
question was the perpetrator. It is usually a decision of yes, no, or “I’m not sure.”
• Fillers- someone who police know did not commit the crime in question
• Eyewitness misidentification- occurs when an eyewitness selects an innocent
• Confession- A voluntary statement made by a person charged with the commission of a
crime or misdemeanor, communicated to another person, wherein he acknowledges
himself to be guilty of the offense charged, and discloses the circumstances of the act or
the share and participation which he had in it.
• Admission -an acknowledgement of the truth of the statement of another party in a
• The Misclassification Error- This occurs when investigators decide, in error, that a
particular suspect committed the crime in question.
• The Coercion Error- Next, the police must convince the suspect to agree to an
interrogation and to admit guilt. This is done through coercive interrogation practices.
• The Contamination Error- Finally, in most false confessions police contaminate the
suspect’s narrative by filling in details that an innocent person would not know.
• Plea bargaining- An agreement between the prosecution and the defense in a criminal
case might resolve the case without a trial.
• Alford plea- defendant does not admit his or her guilt. Instead, the defendant makes an
acknowledgement that the prosecution has enough evidence to obtain a guilty verdict if
the case went to court.
• Sixth amendment- In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a
speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime
shall have been committed.
• Perjury- witness intentionally makes false statements under oath
• Recall- retrieve a memory without it being present
• Recognition- when something is present, and we can call to memory that we
encountered it before
• Forgetting curve- depicts how humans usually forget a large amount of what we have
learned relatively quickly after learning it then forget the rest at a somewhat steady rate
• Post-event information- refers to any information that occurs after the eyewitness
event and can include any number of factors, such as talking to others about the crime,
hearing about the crime on the news, or even interacting with police.
• Miss- The witness rejects the lineup as not including the perpetrator when the
perpetrator is actually present in the lineup.